Engaging with engagement
Search employee engagement on the internet and the chances are that amidst all the ‘what is employee engagement’ and ‘top tips for employee engagement’ articles there will be a fair few which are packed with doom and gloom. Quoting various surveys, these articles will pronounce that employee engagement isn’t working or that it is so ineffectual, businesses might as well not bother.
Now I’m not going to pretend that all is sweetness and light on the engagement front, but nor am I ready to throw in the engagement towel. From my work with numerous organisations I know how game changing true engagement can be. Quite simply, engaged employees can deliver fantastic customer experiences, innovative solutions and enhanced profitability. So why is it that employee engagement is being seen to fail in so many organisations?
Well for a start, in order to engage your people you have to work with them. Employee engagement cannot be imposed from above, nor is it something that you ‘do to’ employees. The start of engagement comes from employees being appreciated and feeling that they have a voice in the business. You won’t achieve that if your approach is confined to annual surveys, obligatory courses and the provision of a pool table in the foyer.
Self-managed engagement programmes
What you can do is not only give employees a voice in the business, but also put engagement in the hands of people who matter most, the employees themselves. And you can do that quite simply by providing access to self managed employee engagement programs. The difference with these programs is that they are driven by individuals. With features typically including surveys, development resources and activities the best programs will be ongoing and ever developing; helping people to progress whilst enabling leaders to work with people to build team cohesion and engagement.
Not only do these programs make the best use of available technology they also put the responsibility for developing engagement squarely in the hands of employees. Yes, team leaders can suggest and guide but at the end of the day it is the people who matter and the people who have responsibility for their own development. As a result, with the leadership delivering top-down organisational culture strategies and employees delivering bottom-up engagement the organisation benefits at every level.
Making the best use of technology to deliver employee engagement is just one facet of the tremendous advances which improving technologies have brought to the HR, training and people function. Blended learning, interactive and video training, at a distance mentoring; all these and more are the direct result of improving technologies which are transforming the face of work. Leaders who take advantage of the potential which technology can bring need to worry about the challenge of engaging employees because their employees are delivering engagement to the organisation every day.
Formerly a customer service leader within financial services, Derek Bishop has over twenty years’ experience of leading people and delivering business results in high volume and complex environments.
As an expert on culture change, leadership development and customer experience he is considered one of the leading thinkers on creating...